Job Scam Information

Fake jobs can be attempts to steal personal information, money or your bank account information from you. Be cautious, research the employer and look for red flags.  

Red Flags to Watch for When Applying for Any Job, Anywhere in the World

Jobs that sound too good to be true should raise a red flag.  Beware of the following items in a job posting. These are likely indicators of jobs that are not legitimate or scams:

  • There is not a company name or the email address does not match the company name
  • Someone offers to pay a large amount for almost no work
  • Someone offers you a job without ever interacting with you
  • Someone wants you to transfer money from one account to another
  • Someone offers to send you a check before you do any work
  • Someone asks you to give your credit card or bank account numbers or copies of personal documents—but you get nothing in writing
  • Someone says you must send payment by wire service or courier
  • Someone offers you a large payment or reward in exchange for allowing the use of your bank account; often for depositing checks or transferring money
  • Someone sends you an unexpectedly large check


Research the Employer Before Applying

Researching a company before you apply for a position can help you determine not only if they are a legitimate company but help you figure out if they are a good fit for you, help you write targeted resumes and cover letters, as well as gain background information about the organization that can help you in the interview and formulate questions to ask in your interview.  


How to research specific employers

  • Talk to people who work or know about the organization
    • This could be people you meet at a career fair, family members, neighbors, friends, other students, alumni, and contacts from professional associations. 
  • Visit the employer's website and look for the following  
    • Is the website professional in appearance? 
    • Is there contact information as well as basic information about the organization such as it's mission, culture, and values? 
    • Are there open job vacancies posted with instructions on how to apply?
  • Research the company on the Internet and review recent news about them
    • Note the sources of information you find and gauge the credibility of those sources  
  • Check with Consumer Services to see if any complaints have been lodged against the company
  • Call or write the organization and ask for information AFTER you've searched for it elsewhere. 

Common Job Scams

The following are common job scams that target college students.

  • Mystery shoppers
  • Working from home
    • Envelope stuffing
    • Repacking or shipping
    • Issuing checks/check processing
  • Model/talent agencies
  • Pyramid sales schemes

Additional Resources

We urge all students to use caution in applying for any position. Here are some helpful websites for more information:


Federal Trade Commission: Job Scams

Five tips to avoid job scams

Public Service Announcement from the FBI re: Employment Scam targeting college students, dated January 18, 2017

The Office of Career Services acts only as a referral service. We make no recommendations or guarantees about the positions and employers listed on Gorillas4Hire. In addition, Career Services is not responsible for safety, wages, working conditions, or any other aspect of off-campus employment.  It is each student’s responsibility to thoroughly research the integrity of each organization to which he or she is applying. The student should take all care and use common sense and caution when applying for or accepting any position. All hiring and compensation for work performed by student employees is handled directly between the student and the employer. The Office of Career Services does not perform background checks on employers posting job opportunities.  Please visit the Office of Career Services if you have any concerns or questions about a particular job listing or employer. Our office is located at 202 Horace Mann or we can be reached by calling 620-235-4140 or email

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